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Volume 72, Issue 95, Monday, February 19, 2007

Opinion

Electorate needs to end imperialism

Monica Granger 
Opinion Columnist

It has become patently clear, based on the United States' 20th century international record sheet, that imperialistic invasion of other sovereign countries is the rule and not the exception. An April, 17, 2006 article in The New Yorker, "The Iran Plans," boldly stated that President Bush would be committing the United States to a war in Iran by spring. It was right.

Bush claims to have an interest, based on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's October 2006 announcement that the country had enriched uranium, in preventing the nuclear-arming of Iran. Iran's president counters that the uranium is for civilian electricity, but he makes it easier to believe Bush by starkly refusing to switch to a technique that allows for production of civilian, but not military grade uranium. 

Ahmadinejad's refusal to limit Iran's uranium production possibilities, though cloddish in delivery, is the right of a sovereign nation. 

The Economist reported that "a second carrier strike group, led by the USS John Stennis, is about to join the USS Dwight Eisenhower in the Gulf region," and that "American aircraft will patrol more aggressively close to Iran's airspace."

This militant imperialism will do nothing to assuage the fears of civilians in the Middle East. At the U.S.-Islamic World Forum Conference in Doha, Qatar, Professor Shibley Telhami, a U.S.-based researcher, told attendants that, "The United States is perceived as the second biggest threat to Arab people, after Israel. The United Kingdom comes third," www.gulfnews.com reported.

America also has a "history of folly" in the Middle East, as Adam Young reported in a brief, but alarming, exposé on the past 50 years of American intervention overseas, including more appointments of dictators worse than previous ones than can be assumed coincidental. 

America's imperialist interests -- big government, big oil and big bankers -- meddle in sovereign countries' affairs for their own gain as if the lives of the people in those countries are pawns on a chess board. This murderous disrespect for fellow mankind is perpetrated by governments (that is, groups of people) imbued with too much power. 

Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Bush is only partly to blame for recent atrocities, though; the other culprit is the American electorate -- yes, you. You live in a constitutional republic, and it is your job to keep it from devolving into the mob-rule tyranny of democracy.

It is time to take command of our government, and thankfully, we may still do this peacefully through elections.

First, people should vote for candidates on principle. Strategic voting is the real lost vote because the compelling reason for one's vote becomes ambiguous and is not formed into desired policies. Voting for a candidate who shares one's principles speaks to them on a larger forum.

Secondly, people should vote for candidates, such as the Libertarians, who actively support and are willing to actualize instant run-off, ranked preference voting and clear away the clutter of ballot access laws. These laws exclude viable third parties, such as the Green Party last year, based on standards that are biased toward the existing party duopoly. 

Third, people must stop using government to answer life's woes. Instead, they should look to private solutions for their problems. 

Welfare payments come from taxes (or debt) that are stolen from neighbors (or future generations). It is not right for someone to steal from their neighbor, and it does not become right if one puts on a funny hat and says they are from the IRS.

Bush and his imperialist entourage are militarizing the Middle East with American sons and daughters. Iran is a stepping-stone toward the ultimate goal -- control of the region's oil. 

America has military bases in about 130 out of 193 total countries in the world, according to Chalmers Johnson, author of The Sorrows of Empire. 

The American electorate can change that -- with third parties who advocate non-interventionism.

Granger, an economics/political science senior, 
can be reached via dccampus@mail.uh.edu

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